Will this solve my problem? rm /var/db/.applesetupdone

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Hello, I have had my Macbook Pro for several years, and I think it's time to wipe it clean and start fresh. Lately it'e been acting up, running slow, and generally acting like an old diseased computer.

I have 10.6.8, love it and want to keep it. I know I can use my original disk that came with the computer to do what I am asking, however, there is a problem with that. I am currently traveling abroad and am in North Africa, away from anywhere where I could conceivably get mail or visit an apple store. I assure you, there is no place to get help here! :p

There seem to be a few youtube videos showing a way to restore the mac to factory settings:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gk3M9bL3JGk

I want to know if this will work for me. It seems like this process creates an alternative admin while keeping the original user and all the data they have accumulated. I want to REMOVE all this data...is there a simple way to do this? I was thinking about creating that alternate admin, then deleting my original user profile. Will this pretty much be a factory reset or am I getting confused about something?

I would of course just like to use my original disk or visit an apple store, but its going to be at least six months before that is an option.

Thank you for your help :)
 
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It does not reset merely establishes a new user account with all the old problems still in the system. How full is the hard drive?
 
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The link I posted shows how to use disk utility to wipe the drive first which has to happen if the OP wants a clean install - right?

Lisa
 

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He doesn't have access to his disk for another 6 months.

Knowing the amount of used and free space on the drive would be a start for us.
However, even if you're sitting at 40-50% free space, after several years, the drive is going to be highly fragmented.

If you care nothing about the data in your existing user account, creating a new admin account, logging into it and then deleting the old one, will clear out most of the drive for a quick free fix. It won't be the same as a defragging the drive or a clean installaion, but it should help a lot.
 
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OK thank you for the responses! My HD is 160 GB with about 20 GB free, so that may be a problem. It's also just old (2011) though and probably really fragmented. Honestly I don't really know what that means, only that is is a problem that makes the computer run slowly. Do you have any suggestions about how to go about defragging my HD?

I have all my important data backed up on an external HD, so it really doesn't matter if I get rid of all the data on the computer. I just want it to work better :) The computer has been showing the color wheel way too much lately, making it hard to do pretty much anything.
 
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The quickest and easiest method, which several have mentioned here previously is to clone your drive with Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC), boot from the clone and erase the original boot drive and use the option to zero-out or one-pass security erase, do not skip this step, and then use CCC to clone the backup back to the clean drive.

Then shut down and boot from the normal drive. Never had it fail to improve things. ;)

But an original SL drive is probably getting to the end of its life span these days. But at least you'll end up with a bootable backup external.
 

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While I am a big proponent of having a bootable backup, with only 20 GB free, cloning back from CCC or SuperDuper! is only going to be a short term fix (like maybe 2-3 weeks or so) before it's right back to the same issue. If you don't have a bootable backup, I'd sure suggest making one just to be able to keep using your computer if/when the internal drives dies until you can get it replaced.

The top defrag app is iDefrag which is going to cost you $40. And it takes time. Since you say you've got no personal data you're interested in saving - I'd just create the new admin account, delete the old one and call it a day until you get back home. Doing that will delete all your personal data, music, movies, documents, everything.

When you get back home it's time to consider maybe replacing the drive with a new faster, larger capacity drive when you do that clean install.
 
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I have 10.6.8, love it and want to keep it. I know I can use my original disk that came with the computer to do what I am asking, however, there is a problem with that. I am currently traveling abroad and am in North Africa, away from anywhere where I could conceivably get mail or visit an apple store. I assure you, there is no place to get help here! :p

I know that you said that you "love" OS 10.6.8 and want to keep it. And that you won't have access to your original disks for quite a while. Here's an option to could consider. If you upgraded to a newer OS version (10.7 or 10.8 for example)…then there is no need for disks…since these OS versions are:

- download only
- the install creates a "Recovery Partition" on the hard drive that you can always access if you have problems (10.6 does not have this).
- you will have access to an "Internet Recovery" feature.
- you can make a bootable USB stick installer of the OS…which would act just like a DVD install disk did with older OS versions.

So lots of "self-help" options for someone who's in "middle of nowhere" North Africa with no local help available. But upgrading the OS is the key.:)

- Nick
 
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Thanks again for your help, everyone!

I'm sorry that I'm so out of touch with technology, but just what exactly is a bootable backup? What does it do, and how do I get one? :p

I think we're going to try new user/delete admin first and we'll see what that does. Would it be a good idea to create this bootable backup beforehand, even though it's not running they way I'd like it to?

We have considered upgrading to 10.7 but it does cost a bit of money, so we've been putting it off. If the new user way doesn't produce any results, we might have to try upgrading and wiping like you said, Nick. 10.7 doesn't sound all that bad, but I hate change lol!

Thanks again, you've all been a great help. :)
 
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I'd suggest you'd be stupid to even consider doing any mucking about without having a proper backup first. That's assuming you actually have data you want to keep. Time Machine can create a backup of your data but the backup is not bootable, and requires a running Mac to access.

And a " bootable backup" is basically what it says, a backup to a drive that can be used to boot a compatible Mac, and generally created using software such as Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) and/or SuperDuper! (SD!).
https://bombich.com
SuperDuper!
 
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Oh okay I understand now, thank you. Have you ever used SuperDuper! ? From what I understand, I can create a bootable backup through them for free, correct?

Now will putting this bootable backup take up 160 GB on my external HD? I feel like that's a stupid question and the answer is probably yes, but I want to make sure.
 
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I've always used CCC since it was first released, and tried SD! once, and CCC allows a full trial use as does SD! I believe, but without some options.

And just make sure the backup drive is formatted for proper Mac use that you can check and do using Disk Utility.
 
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Yes, and it will erase the destination before cloning.

What, exactly, does this mean? What destination does it erase? Sorry, but I really don't understand.

Furthermore, is the bootable backup accessible at any time? As in, if I wanted to watch a movie from my hard drive that I created a bootable backup of, could I go into that backup and watch a movie from it? I hope that makes sense.

Sorry again for being SO ignorant...yeesh, to think I'm only 22!
 

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What, exactly, does this mean? What destination does it erase? Sorry, but I really don't understand.

The destination drive drive files are copied onto. Lets suppose you normally boot from a drive called "Tom" and you are cloning the information to a drive called "Jerry". Jerry is the destination drive and files on it will be erased.

Furthermore, is the bootable backup accessible at any time? As in, if I wanted to watch a movie from my hard drive that I created a bootable backup of, could I go into that backup and watch a movie from it? I hope that makes sense.

Sorry again for being SO ignorant...yeesh, to think I'm only 22!

Yes. The two drives are essentially the same. You could access the movie from either drive.
 
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I don't know what ferrarr meant by his comment, but using CCC to clone a drive provides all kinds of options if one wants. A default setting will often have a setting to wipe the backup drive, and saves confusion, but it's not mandatory if there's already some data to be saved.

Have a look at their site and see all the options it provides at:
https://bombich.com
https://bombich.com/features
 
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So to be clear, my girlfriend's external hard drive, "Jerry," where we would be saving the bootable backup to, would be erased and replaced with "Tom," my computer's hard drive that I'd be copying. Correct?

We have lots of information, including thousands of pictures from our travels, on the "Jerry" HD, so I would not want to risk losing those.
 

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So to be clear, my girlfriend's external hard drive, "Jerry," where we would be saving the bootable backup to, would be erased and replaced with "Tom," my computer's hard drive that I'd be copying. Correct?

We have lots of information, including thousands of pictures from our travels, on the "Jerry" HD, so I would not want to risk losing those.

You can set Carbon Copy Cloner to delete all files on "Jerry" but it can also be set to preserve them as well. Give this a quick read https://bombich.com/kb/ccc4/protect...stination-volume-carbon-copy-cloner-safetynet

I've been using the program off and on for a long time. One thing has been consistent all along: When you set up a backup task and click to start the task it does a pretty good job of warning you if you are about to delete files.
 
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Nothing is "clear" unless you understand what you're doing with the software and its options you're using.

So assume nothing until you know!! And then a double check won't hurt if one values their data. ;)
 

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